Online course providers are all over the Internet these days. They provide courses that are essential for furthering your education and nurturing your skill-base. There are so many resources available online for learning about… well, anything. In the tech world you can learn anything from web development, to photography, to design (and everything in-between). The online course catalogue is virtually limitless, but we’ve rounded up our favourites online course providers – here are our favourites:

Top 10 Online Course Providers

1. Lynda.com

Overview: Established in 1995, Lynda.com has gone from strength to strength within recent years – a pattern that should continue, after the company was recently sold to LinkedIn. The course library covers online courses on areas such as design, development, CAD, marketing and photography, to name just a few.

Price: A basic account will set you back £12.95 and gives you access to all of the courses. A premium account is available for £18.95 which also gives you access to project files and code practice, it helps you assess your learning through quizzes and it allows you to download course videos for offline viewing.

Number of Courses: Around 5,000.

Free Trial Available: Yes, Lynda.com offers a 10 day free trial.

Mobile App Available: Yes.

2. Pluralsight

Overview: Pluralsight was founded in 2004 but has really gained attention for their fantastic courses during the last few years. Their courses are shot in a similar vein to Lynda.com’s courses, with both platforms offering a similar range of content. If you want to add new skills to your arsenal or if you want to nurture existing skills then you won’t go far wrong with this online learning resource.

Price: Membership is available for $29 a month or $299 a year.

Number of Courses: Around 5,000.

Free Trial Available: Yes, a 10 day free trial is available. It’s important to note that within the 10 day free trial you are limited to watching a maximum of 200 minutes of online course material.

Mobile App Available: Yes.

3. Udemy

Overview: Udemy don’t produce any of their own content, nor do they employ any staff directly. Their whole business relies on people providing them with content, which they then sell and market for the content creator. This does mean that some of the courses are fantastic, whereas others are lacking or of a pretty poor quality. The advice that I would give here is to never sign up to a course that doesn’t have many reviews unless you know that the author has a great reputation from their previous videos. Also, read the reviews! Sometimes from doing this you’ll even find that it is worthwhile spending a little bit more money to get better quality content. Other times you may find that it’s worth going for a cheaper course than the one you were looking at based on reviews.

Price: Unlike Lynda.com and Pluralsight where you pay for an all-inclusive service, courses on Udemy are priced individually. For example, if you want to learn how to master the basics of Python as well as learning how to perfect your Excel spreadsheets, you’ll need to fork out for each course separately. You’d generally expect to be paying around $25 per hour of content that you consume, but depending on the topic you could end up paying a lot more or a lot less.

Number of Courses: Over 40,000.

Free Trial Available: N/A.

Mobile App Available: Yes.

4. Treehouse

Overview: Treehouse is a great resource for learning things like how to build a website, how to code in technologies such as Ruby on Rails and how to build a mobile app. They don’t seem to deviate too much away from these coding fundamentals, which can be quite a benefit (unless the skills you want to learn are more design-based). One of the best features of Treehouse is its “code challenge engine” where you code in your browser window, a feature very similar to Codecademy (reviewed further down in this article).

Price: Monthly membership comes in at $25 while an annual subscription will cost $250.

Number of Courses: Over 200.

Free Trial Available: Yes, a 7 day free trial is available.

Mobile App Available: Yes.

5. Coursera

Overview: Coursera has a pretty unique and interesting offering. They offer, what they call, MOOC’s (Massive Open Online Courses) which are generally courses that are made available online from some of the leading universities around the world, so you really know that the quality of courses on offer is going to be extremely high.

Price: All courses are individually priced. There are some courses available that are absolutely free but most do come with an associated cost, usually starting from around £60/$69.

Number of Courses: Over 1,500.

Free Trial Available: Free trials are not available, however some courses can be viewed for free.

Mobile App Available: Yes.

6. Code School

Overview: Code School features both video lessons and in-browser coding to give you a great all-round advantage when learning from the courses on offer. Courses on offer range from Ruby to PHP to Git to iOS programming.

Price: $29 per month or $228 a year will give you access to all of the courses on offer.

Number of Courses: Over 60 courses are currently available with more being added on a regular basis.

Free Trial Available: Free trials don’t exist in the traditional sense, but you can create a free account to gain access to 10 introductory courses.

Mobile App Available: Yes, however currently only an iOS app is available.

7. edX

Overview: edX offer free online courses from leading universities such as MIT, Harvard and Berkeley. Much like Coursera, the courses are offered as MOOC’s, where the course is spread over a number of weeks with an allotted amount of time recommended per week for study. Amazingly, some of the courses that are available are credit-eligible, meaning that you can use them towards gaining a master’s degree.

Price: All of the courses that are on offer are free of charge. If you would like a certificate of completion for any of the courses that you’ve done then a charge will be levied.

Number of Courses: Over 700 courses are available.

Free Trial Available: N/A.

Mobile App Available: Yes.

8. Codecademy

Overview: Codecademy teaches you how to code in various languages through interactive browser-based tutorials. Unlike most of the other resources listed here, Codecademy don’t provide you with videos to teach you how to code. Instead, they give you text based instructions and an in-browser IDE to code in. It is a fantastic and fairly unique offering that should definitely be utilised to master the basics.

Price: All of the courses can be accessed for free, although if you want to gain access to a personalised learning plan, quizzes, projects and advisors then you’ll need a pro membership which is currently $19.99 per month.

Number of Courses: Over 20 courses are available.

Free Trial Available: N/A.

Mobile App Available: No.

9. tutorialspoint

Overview: tutorialspoint offer a wide range of free courses to help you develop your coding skills. I’d say that realistically, the site will guide you through the basics. If you want to gain more advanced skills then it’s worth progressing to one of the more mainstream/premium providers such as Lynda.com or Pluralsight. The courses offered are all text-based, rather than video-based.

Price: All of the courses are provide for free.

Number of Courses: Over 500 free online courses are available to view.

Free Trial Available: N/A.

Mobile App Available: No.

10. Microsoft Virtual Academy

Overview: Microsoft Virtual Academy is an platform which provides free training for supported Microsoft technologies, lead by Microsoft experts. Topics range from Windows 10 to Cloud development to Game Development, with new courses being added every week.

Price: All of the courses are free of charge.

Number of Courses: Over 700 courses are available to view for free.

Free Trial Available: N/A.

Mobile App Available: No.

Honorable Mentions

We can’t close this article without mentioning one of the most valuable learning resources that has ever been created, YouTube. While this site, as you’ll know, features videos on all sorts of topics, it’s well worth searching for the tech skill you want to learn as no doubt there will be many tutorials to guide you through the process. The main reason why I couldn’t put this into the top 10 is because the tutorials are so hit and miss, both in terms of production quality and in terms of usefulness. You do, unfortunately, need to look through a lot of rubbish before finding a hidden gem, but when you do find a real gem of a tutorial it’ll be well worth it. Oh, an obviously this is a free learning resource which is a true bonus.

Image Credit: Frederico Cintra

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Test analyst by day, blogger by night. Michael is an avid geek, hence his creation of this site. He has a serious Internet addiction.